Grind EP by Hang Tight (Standby Records)
Picture Perfect was surely one of the most scandalously underrated pop punk bands in the States – their indie label Mutant League Records knew it, a scattering of fans on the East Coast knew it – and yet like so many massively talented bands caught in the shuffle of an over-saturated market, Picture Perfect would pretty much call it a day after a remarkable debut full length entitled Rose and a lot of hard work.
Well kind of anyway, because the members have regrouped, launching an even more ambitious collective aptly titled Hang Tight! Still very much in a pop punk state of mind while adding in influences such as indie rock, shoegaze and surf, Hang Tight has unleashed their first wildly infectious manifesto of auditory bliss entitled Grind on Standby Records. Music of fans of all ages will find a whole lot of ear candy to enjoy within the five rapturous tunes that Hang Tight has to offer the world at large.
The Grind EP opens with the wondrously reflective refrains of The Rents, with sparkling musical interludes and thoughtful lyrics which convey that the very fact that true family is where you find it. Forget About It expresses the high flying sentiments “I don’t want to write a song for you, I just want to travel to the moon” with a cautiously wide-eyed optimism – complete with soaring sing-along chorus. Pretty In True Blue is pensive and gorgeous, showing Hang Tight meshing pop punk and indie genres with the greatest of ease.
Up next is the spiraling Digital Age, the surfadelic party anthem for the ages – definitely a song that should be infecting radio airwaves all across the planet. And then closing out the Grind EP experience way too soon is the sweetly expressive Be Mine, with the serene promises of “we’ll meet again” ringing through with an inspiring sense of conviction.
Hang Tight possesses a good amount of talent within their ranks, starting off with front man/guitarist Pete Zengerle, whose expressive vocals and dynamic charisma sets each and every song into the stratosphere. Sterling Drake supplies his own dazzling guitar inflections that set the compositions in flight while bassist Bill Cardella and drummer Montana Voegtlin slam it all home with a skilled precision. Expect Hang Tight to bust out of the New Jersey music scene in a vast and epic way, especially if the Grind EP is indicative of greater glories ahead. Stay tuned…
(Review by Ken Morton)
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